Photo of the Week - Week 14:
Former Clontarf AV417 is seen on Castle Avenue on Route 130 directly across the road from its terminus set down area in its last week of service in Clontarf on the 26th March 2018 (click on photo for larger version).
It seems very much like an end of an era with Clontarf becoming the first garage to be ALX400 free. AV417 was the last ALX400 to operate in the depot, being allocated on the morning of the 30th March 2018 (Friday) to Route 130. The Alexander ALX400 body has been a constant in Dublin for the last 18 years, following the entry of AV6 into service on the 1st September 2000. 658 ALX400s were purchased by Dublin Bus, at times making up basically 2/3 of the city fleet (AV1-AV448, AX449-AX648, DT1-DT10). AV416 and AV417 were always interesting, being the only two 2005 AVs in Clontarf. They were delivered in Wedding Livery, being replaced in 2008 as Wedding Buses in the depot by EV88 and EV89. They reverted to fleet livery, and continued to work in Clontarf till March 2018. They are now working in Conyngham Road, being directly swapped for EV59 and EV60 which are now operating in Clontarf.
Clontarf had only a few remaining AVs prior to the delivery of their 2017 SG batch (SG365-SG370), with only AV315, AV334, AV335, AV346, AV362, AV416 and AV417 in service at the start of December 2017. AV284, AV285 and AV286 (though it remained on the fleet list for a few weeks) were replaced in mid-November by EV22, EV37, EV38 and EV39 from Summerhill. AV416 and AV417 were the only ones to make it into 2018 operating in Clontarf.
Though you can never rule anything out, one would imagine that no ALX400s will be returning to Clontarf, which now has a very unusual fleet composition being composed over 40% of EVs.